1. Rheum australe D. Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 75. 1825; Sweet, Br. Flow. G. 3: t. 269. 1828; Hara in Hara et al, Enum. Fl. Pl. Nep. 3:179. 1982; Grierson & D.G. Long, l.c. 172. (Fig.21, A-C).
Rheum emodi Wall. ex Meisn. in Wall., Pl. As. Rar. 3:65. 1832 p.p.; Hook. in Bot. Mag. 63: t. 3508. 1836; Hook. f., l.c. 56; R.R.Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W.Pak. Kashm. 212. 1972.
Perennial, 1-2 m tall, glabrous herb or undershrub. Basal leaves with 30-45 cm long petiole; blade coriaceous, orbicular or broadly-ovate, cordate, obtuse, entire, 5-7-nerved, somewhat scabrous above, papillose below, 60 cm across; upper leaves smaller. Inflorescence fastigiately branched, 0.3-1 m erect leafy panicle. Flowers pedicellate, 3-3.5 mm across, dark purple. Fruit ovoid-oblong, 1-1.5 cm long, purple, wings narrower than disk, notched at both ends.
Fl. Per.: June-August.
Type: India, Sikkim, Wallich 1727.1 (K n.v. Microfisch!).
Distribution: Pakistan, India and Nepal.
R.R.Stewart (1972) has cited his specimen No. 20338 under R. webbianum Royle which has fastigiately branched inflorescence, a character of the present species. R. australe is rather rare in our area, more common in eastern Himalayas. R. emodi Wall. ex Meisn. seems to be a misnomer. It appears Meisner l.c. has mixed up two different taxa viz. R. australe and R. webbianum Royle.
The root is purgative and astringent.